Here we take a look at the newest and best gladiator games for all platforms.
Story of a Gladiator (PC)
Much like flash based Siegius Arena covered below, this game is a classic hack n slasher beatem up where you have to fight your way up from a peasant arena battler to the glory of the colosseum. The title can be a little deceiving here because there's not much of a narrative behind Brain Seal's game apart from all your family and friends being killed by the Roman Empire. Still there's enough about this title in it's fighting premise alone to satisfy those who love 1980's style "lets crack some skulls" button smasher. For example Story of a Gladiator contains 80 different enemies that all have a unique fighting style to adapt to plus 20 animals. Add to that plenty of weapon and armor upgrades, 3 boss fights and 3 different arenas and you've got yourself a great little Gladiator game.
Download Story of a Gladiator at Steam.
Swords and Sandals: Spartacus (PC)
This game deserves a lot more attention than it is currently getting on Steam. It a great little platformer by the same developers as the original series, it tells the story of the life of Spartacus, a gladiator who became a hero who rose up and took on the Roman Empire's Armies. In this game Spartacus ventures from the dungeons of capua to mount versuvius while taking on slave masters and centurions. It's clear the game has been inspired by 1980's classics such as Golden Axe, Rastan and Ghost and Goblins.
Download Swords and Sandals: Spartacus at Steam.
Swords and Sandals 2: Emperor’s Reign – A (series of) day(s) in the brutal life of a gladiator (PC)
Ah.Ah.Ah.Ah. Staying Alive
Honey, does this sword clash with my demonic crossbow? I feel like my gauntlets just aren’t popping today, and I think my armour makes my bum look big. These preceding statements and questions were almost certainly never the concerns of actual Roman gladiators, but in Swords and Sandals 2: Emperor’s Reign, they most certainly can if you wish them to be. A turn-based arena battling game with hints of RPG, Swords and Sandals 2 permits you to follow the life and times of a lowly nobody that is enslaved and forced to battle other burly men for the entertainment of onlookers ravenous for blood and sweat, with the only tears being their ones of delight when someone gets decapitated in a brutal fashion. Expect brutality and challenging difficulty as you work your way through tournaments, upgrading your stats, weapons, and magic along the way. Slaughtering your opponent is your only concern, you know; apart from staying alive long enough to do so.
Ready to Rumble
Things kick off in a rather dire fashion with you in a dungeon about to embark on a series of battles that will most certainly result in the death of either you or your opponent. The main focus of the gameplay is on battling in the arena in front of thousands of people that just want to see blood, and lots of it. Luckily, your brutal gladiator is on hand to give it to them by clicking the various action buttons that float around your gladiator. Your opponent is stationed at the opposite end of the arena to you, and at distance, you must make your way towards him by using the movement controls that allow you to either walk or jump forwards and backwards, as well as allowing you to taunt your opponent and also gain the appreciation of the crowd (mainly by passing rectal gas in a visibly comical manner). The ability to ‘psych up’ is a new introduction and has you gathering up energy to unleash on your foe.
Once you approach your opponent, you can use the on-screen buttons to launch a mild, medium, or strong attack. Essentially, the damage dealt and the likelihood of your attacks landing are based entirely upon your (upgradable) stats like strength and stamina that can be upgraded by gaining experience points during battle. When it comes down to it, it’s pretty much a game of numbers fought out in a very physical and manly way with a respectable amount of blood and brutality.
Armaments and Enchantments
As its predecessor also allows us to do, Swords and Sandals 2 lets you visit an armoury as well as a blacksmith in order to choose from a range of protective armour and deadly weapons to aid your fights. You can pick from a range of different types of armour such as gauntlets and helmets, and the selection of weapons is impressive: axes, mauls, maces, longbows, crossbows, and an abundance of blades that would make Hannibal simply giddy with joy. New to this sequel is the ability to also purchase magic spells to enchant your weapon or summon fireballs and various other projectiles. Visiting the church also allows you to buy healing potions to use in battle.
A Day In the Life
Whether you’re a long-term lover of the series or in fact this is your first- time encounter, Swords and Sandals 2: Emperor’s Reign is a pretty addictive and rewarding experience. While not quite bordering on the epic-ness of say Berzerk Land’s Sands of the Colosseum, developer whiskeybarrelstudios.com are clearly onto something here. Granted, the graphics are pretty unspectacular and haven’t really changed that much from the last game, but the new additions such as the magic and the ranged weapons as well as the classic procedure of levelling up to improve your gladiator over time is too delicious not to order for the main course. The fact the game now features a saving option at each arena boss is also a huge improvement from the complete lack of saving ability in the first game.
Download Swords and Sandals 2 as part of the full collection available at Steam.
Siegius Arena (Flash)
There seems to be something about the Roman style of battle that attracts developers like no other period in history. Games like the PC-based Rome: Total War and Age of Empires are some of the more elaborate workings, while even the smaller indie-game developers have a very good go of emulating the style and the brutality of Roman battle.
Swords and Sandals is one of the most notable games and is part of a series that spans an impressive five games, but one series that is often overlooked is that of Siegius, and it is back with a game so stylish that it cannot possibly be overlooked any longer. Being betrayed by one of your own apparently-loyal men must be tough for anyone but in Roman times, this usually results in some dire consequences and in this case, your death is sanctioned, but being a legendary leader and soldier, you cannot simply allow yourself to die and must take it upon yourself to go as loudly and with as many decapitations and as much maiming possible.
Siegius Arena is a third-person battle game whose format is in a similar vein to that of Gladiators by Miniclip, requiring you to go up against opponents in a fight to the death in front of hundreds of cheering spectators that are thirsty for blood. This game is a little different to the usual one-vs-one action of popular battle game Swords and Sandals and popular depictions of gladiator fights however, since the game involves battling waves of enemies at a time, with multiple waves comprised of increasingly difficult enemies making up each round. The directional arrow or the [WASD] keys are used to move you gladiator around the arena while the attack buttons are shown on screen: A for a mild swipe, X for a strong stab, and also C or V to use your items or weapons. Each attack has a cool-down period that varies depending on the weapon, though spells take significantly longer to recharge. There is no other aim in the game other than to decimate your opponents, which is a simplicity that makes the game so fun to play.
The game lacks a true upgrade system based on experience points or development of your gladiator but it does have a currency system where you can purchase weapons, spells and items for use in your battles. Weapons range from weak swords and shields to heavy mallet-like objects and even a lightsaber when you save up enough money. Spells such as earthquakes, lightning, and meteors can be cast, and items can be bought such as potions and popularity-boosting objects. In all, there are enough items to maintain a healthy desire to continue earning money in order to be able to afford them, but a lack of upgrade system for the gladiator himself is a little disappointing.
There is no denying Siegius Arena's significantly-above-average design and cartoonish graphics courtesy of developers www.sky9games.com, which really come in to play during battles, particularly when using your special attack (press the [Spacebar] when you have a full special bar) and various extremities are flying across the screen and pools of blood are oozing from the different orifices of your enemies.
The control system is easy to grasp but even though the battles look smooth and stylish, great graphics and design can't make up for the fact that the enemies lack any true intelligence to actually challenge your fighting skills in any serious way.
This means that Siegius Arena is more about having the bigger and better weapons/items and becomes a game of out-stat-ing your enemy rather than out-fighting them. Don't let these drawbacks put you off though; this is a great warrior hack n slash game and won't disappoint you if you decide to give it a try.
Play Siegius Arena at Notdoppler.
Sands of the Colosseum (Flash): Epic, turn-based battles to the death where violence is key
Try your hand at being a gladiator in what is frankly one of the most epic gladiatorial turn-based battle games I have ever played. Battle, upgrade, loot for weapons, and assemble your own team of fighters to battle your way to fame or infamy in Roman circles.
A Pastime of Questionable Legality
How do you occupy your free time? Perhaps a few sporting exploits on free evening weekends such as five-a-side football or a little bit of squash? Maybe you enjoy keeping up to date with US TV shows by download.. I mean streaming them in a strictly legal fashion on Netflix when and if they are released. You may perchance indulge in the playing of online flash games to make the seconds tick away much faster than they would if you were watching dry paint continue to be dry, since we all know that time is relative. Unless you’re the disturbed .01% of the population that indulges in that kind of thing or are from times that use the epoch ‘B.C’ , your pastime is extremely unlikely to involve engaging in gladiatorial battles in front of an audience ravenous for blood, violence, and more blood. This could very well change with the discovery of Sands of the Colosseum, a turn-based, colosseum-centric battle game from Berzerk Land in which violence is the only answer to a question that no one really asked, but which was answered anyway, much to the relief of the bloodlust-bound audience that felt a little weird essentially asking for publicly-staged murder for their own entertainment.
Battles of Definite Brutality
A career in being a gladiator is more difficult to pursue than you’d imagine, which is why you must fight your way from the bottom up, taking on single and multiple opponents in a turn-based style, using a variety of weapons and techniques to defeat them and move on to the next challenger. The aim is simply to conquer the whole of the Roman Empire beginning with Londinium and gaining the support of the crowd and the fame that comes along with being a fearless warrior. Skills and attribute upgrades are available along the way, as well as the ability to pick up different weapons, have some brand new ones forged, and even purchase slaves with which you can assemble a fearsome team of gladiators to help get you to the top.
Upgrades of Ample Utility
Sands of the Coliseum is as much as an RPG as it is a turn-based fighting game since you are able to gain experience points as you battle as well as the ability to upgrade your stats and weapons. You attributes are the usual speed, stamina, vitality, charisma and strength as well as a separate tree of upgrades that allow you to use different techniques like shield bashing, counter attacks and various passive abilities. You can gain new weapons by either looting them from deceased opponents or by visiting the blacksmith a la Beserk Ball 2 in order for him to forge you some shiny new weapons from metals that can occasionally be won but are mainly part of the premium content that most gamers won’t even look in the direction of. Don’t worry; purchasing premium content isn’t a necessity, it simply reduces the time it takes for you to make progress in the game.
Aesthetics of the Usual Respectability
The game has a definite ‘Berzerk Land’ appearance about it: not incredibly polished but also not without its charm, the graphics are as silly as they need to be, and the ability to customise your character serves to add more variety to the stylish, aged-effect map of Rome and insanely gory battles that are almost Tarantino-like in their bloodshed.
Entertainment of Unrivalled Indelibility
Developers www.berzerkstudio.com has yet again produced an artery-severing, strategy-requiring, parental-guidance-desiring, awe-inspiring masterpiece that lets you shake up the Roman gladiator circuit one battle at a time. With a multiplayer and a whole host of trophies to acquire along the way in addition to the already-engrossing main game, unnecessary and unrestrained violence may become your new pastime after all, bringing you closer to being in the aforementioned .01% of the population.
Play Sands of the Colosseum at Kongregate.
Double Edged (Flash): A beatem up blast from the past in your browser
If your tired of overly detailed rpg action games, strategic battle games and those that overload you with a silly amount of side quests then Double Edged could be the hack n slash no nonsense browser game you have been looking for.
The aim of the game is very simple, you walk from one side of the screen to the other and bash everything in your way using your trusty sword and various other weapons you can pick up from dead enemies.
Your lead character is a gladiator (very original!), yes they have been appearing in a fair few games since the release of such films as Gladiator, Troy and 300. This character looks no different to any of them, he dawns the stereotypical gladiator's outfit although he doesn't move in the same cunning and zest like way that let's say Achilles does in Troy or with the ferocity that Maximus does in Gladiator. If game players are after something a tad more realistic they may wish to play such games as Dynasty Warrior games.
Double Edged allows you to have a cooperative experience with another player sharing the keyboard. This is actually a rare thing when it comes to flash games. It may take those lucky enough to be brought up in the 80's (the golden period of arcade games) back to the time when games such as Double Dragon made beatem up's and multi coop games so popular.
Keeping with the comparison of Double Edged being like Double Dragon, most of the objects dropped by your enemies can be used as a weapon against the next. You can pick up all sorts of typical projectiles such as rocks and statues. Even the basic attack combinations don't deviate from the mash the same button idea - attacks are built up by simply hitting the same key over and over again. Yep when it comes to beatemp up's there's nothing simpler than a game like Double Edged.
But just when you thought this Nitrome game had minimal variety to it - you will be greeted by some likeable and familiar bosses in the game for those who know a little about mythical creatures. We have a nasty looking Minotaur and a king that turns everything to gold - Midas. We like the touch of the bosses, there's nothing like an epic and overly powerful foe that you need to overthrow to become the hero of the game.
Granted such bosses in Double Edged look no way as epic as those in the upcoming Segius Arena but who are we to deny a game atleast a reasonable level of respect for sticking to what has worked in the past with Beatem up's. After all if it isn't broke don't fix it and fans of such games know what to basically expect from all games that are side scrolling and filled with foes.
Just when you thought we were done with nostalgic comparisons let us bring back one more arcade classic to compare Double Edged to. Who can forget Golden Axe and it's exciting variety of mounts! Yep in Golden Axe you certainly did have some powerful mounts, from giant wingless birds to fire breathing dragons. We loved the wingless bird who could easily whip down a big fat hammer wielding giant with one foul swoop of it's tail. Well in Double Edged you get to mount tigers who too can deliver some serious damage to your opponents. A flash beatemup with a mountable tiger? Isn't that something!
Play Double Edged at Nitrome.